Polyamide production and precursor choices driving sustainability performance

Presented by Paul Habets, Director Marketing and Sales at Fibrant.

Polyamide 6 (PA6) is one of the most versatile engineering plastics in our society and widely used for many good reasons. Due to its high strength, impact performance at a wide temperature range, PA6 can be used in many high performance parts.

When zooming in on the footprint of PA6, choices made in production process and feedstock of caprolactam (based feedstock of PA6) can significantly impact the overall carbon footprint. Technology and production choices will be highlighted as well as the impact of Biobased and Circular feedstock. Without compromising on quality you will see a carbon-foot-print array which can vary enormously offering new array choices for today’s engineers.


Question 1: What drives you?
How can we thrive whilst reducing our integral footprint? Collaboration across value chains, open minded and an integral view are key, but most and for all putting thoughts in action! Finding new creative solutions which structurally improve our footprint without compromising on quality and performance is what keeps me going every day.

Question 2: Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
You like to understand the sustainability impact of your PA6 choice. If you like to design with the best possible sustainability choice in mind without compromising on quality? If you like to make the best integral material choice comparing all relevant parameters?

Question 3: What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
Technology innovations in greenhouse gas reductions during production process of caprolactam and thus PA6, bio-based feedstock and circular feedstock.

Question 4: What kind of impact do you expect them to have?
Better awareness of the material choices they make. There is a huge spread in carbon footprint impact amongst similar performing PA6 products. Hence working with industry averages is not working, you need to understand the background of your material.

Question 5: What are the barriers that might stand in the way?
Knowledge of impact precursors can have? Integral thinking, avoid sub optimalisation and integral low performance (doing the right thing in one area and by this creating a larger negative impact integrally)?

About Paul Habets
25 years experience in the Engineering Plastics industry, in several roles ranging from Reasearch and technology to Design and Application development up to Business Development, Marketing and Sales. Exploration of new business area’s, incubation of new product market combination and outside box thinking runs like a thread through my work history. At Fibrant (part of the Highsun Group) we want to make a difference: sustainability is a driver to success. In this journey we need to collaborate, dare and do.

Our story begins in 1952, when we commissioned our first factory for the production of Caprolactam (polyamide) in The Netherlands. Nowadays we have production facilities in The Netherlands (Geleen) and China (Fuzhou en Nanjing). As of November 2018 Fibrant is part of Highsun Group China. As a result we became a major player in the global polyamide market.

We employ people on two different continents who’s mission it is to create pure and state-of-the-art chemical products that make a difference. We produce 25 percent of the total global production of Caprolactam and AP Caprolactam. Additionally, we are a leader in the production of Ammonium Sulfate for a wide variety of applications.

Due to our heritage and as one of the world’s largest producer and supplier of high quality products and technologies, we have become true industry experts. Which implies that we operate both safely and reliably, committed to bring sustainable value to our value chain.

Paul Habets is speaker at the 2021 edition of the Materials 4 Sustainable Mobility Conference.

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